2018-2019 Season Rehearsal Begins September 6. Want to Join?


11923198_1469773353352670_2368113452391759725_nThe Central Kentucky Concert Band begins its 2018-2019 season rehearsals on Thursday, September 6 in the band room at Transylvania University’s Mitchell Fine Arts Center at 7:30 PM. The band looks forward to welcoming back old friends and making new ones.

The band is composed of teachers, professional musicians, civil servants, engineers, homemakers, retired persons, and individuals representing many other professions and walks of life, all united through their love of making music. 

Prospective members are invited to sit in with the band during any or all of the first three “open rehearsals” on September 6th, 13th, and 20th. Auditions will be held during the rehearsal on the 20th for players wishing to join. Players representing all sections of the band are invited to sit in and audition.

The band has a diverse portfolio of music ranging from contemporary pieces such as Adams’ Lollapalooza, to classics such as the finale to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. The band’s regular season consists of three concerts in Lexington. Around the last part of June and the first part of July, the band performs several concerts as part of its “Summer Series.” These concerts are more relaxed and feature many styles of music–not just the expected marches. Occasionally, the band performs additional concerts in varied locations.

Prospective members are invited to check out the band on Facebook at Central Kentucky Concert Band. Any questions may be directed there or via e-mail at centralkycb@gmail.com. 

Bardstown Community Park

Insect, Amphibian, and Fish Days of Summer

If you’ve followed our previous posts, you’d have seen our regular season wrap-up. During our regular season, we featured music from Shostakovich, an exploration of marches, and paid a well-deserved tribute to Leonard Bernstein.

After Bernstein, we began our summer series which took us to beautiful and historic locations in Lexington, Paris, and Bardstown. We’re so thankful for our wonderful sponsors who host us in these wonderful venues.

So much music. So much fun. So much work.

I was going to say we were going to hibernate for a while, but the first part of that word uses the Latin word for “winter”. After last week’s thunderstorm that left thousands without power over the weekend, it is very clear that it is not winter. And then there’s the calendar and heat and everything, too.

So to the virtual dictionary I happily typed. And there, contained in its virtual pages, all virtually stuffed with virtual words, was my quarry: “Aestivate.” It means to be in an inactive, dormant state in a hot and dry season, according to Dictionary.com.  Some fish, amphibians, and bugs do this. “Aestas” is Latin for “summer.” So there you go. I’ll use it in a sentence which is mostly what this post is about:

“The band is aestivating, but will reanimate in early September.” Thank you; thank you very much.

So stay tuned for announcements once we get into August.

Thanks for your interest and support for successful seasons in the past, and for incredible seasons in the future!

Hello, Paris!



Historic house;

Beautiful grounds;

Shady trees;

Exciting music.

Sounds like the makings of a great summer evening to me. I know you agree.

CKCB continues its Kentucky tour by performing this weekend, July 1st, in Paris at the Garden Club of Kentucky’s Wallis House. The band starts the music at 7 PM, but you can start the picnicking earlier. Our concert is free, thanks to our wonderful friends, the Garden Club of Kentucky. Drop on by to 616 Pleasant Street and enjoy the show!

Click on the link above for a map, or use these handy directions:

From Lexington on Paris Pike, once in downtown Paris , turn right on either 7th or 6th street.  Go one block to Pleasant Street.  The Wallis House and Arboretum are on the east side of Pleasant Street between 6th and 7th.

CKCB Dramatic B&W Paris


CKCB at Bardstown: Performance Location Change

Detour BandThe weather forecast is filled with sun, and we’re ready to provide some musical fun.

Please take note of Friday’s performance location change, and please pass the word.

CKCB’s Friday, June 29th concert at 7:00 PM will now be held in downtown Bardstown at the Farmers Market Pavilion, rather than at Bardstown Community Park.

Here are updated directions:

Coming into Bardstown on Hwy 150 from Springfield, or the first Bardstown exit off the Blue Grass Parkway, continue on Hwy 150/Springfield Road all the way downtown until you run into the old Courthouse on the Court Square. Turn right on N. 3rd Street (Hwy 150 turns north here) and go one block to Flaget Avenue and again turn right. Farmers Market is in the middle of the block on your right.

Map of Downtown Bardstown


CKCB Performs at Bardstown’s Farmers Market Pavilion

CKCB Dramatic B&W BardstownThe day is approaching; the weather forecasters are making great promises. CKCB travels to Bardstown’s Farmers Market Pavilion this Friday, June 29th to perform at 7:00 PM. We’re excited to be bringing a great variety of music to the picnic table. Here are some directions to the Farmers Market Pavilion (and if you are convinced we were having it at another location, you were right–this article has been updated to reflect the change in venue):

Coming into Bardstown on Hwy 150 from Springfield, or the first Bardstown exit off the Blue Grass Parkway, continue on Hwy 150/Springfield Road all the way downtown until you run into the old Courthouse on the Court Square. Turn right on N. 3rd Street (Hwy 150 turns north here) and go one block to Flaget Avenue and again turn right. Farmers Market is in the middle of the block on your right.

Thanks to our friends at the Stephen Foster Music Club, the Bardstown Parks and Recreation Department, and their gracious sponsors, the concert is presented to you free of charge–no tickets required. Leave your week behind and enjoy a free concert to get your weekend started.

Bardstown Community Park
The CKCB performed at Bardstown Community Park in 2017.

Can’t make it to Bardstown this weekend? Bummer. But we’re here to help! CKCB will also be in Paris, Kentucky this Sunday, July 1. Check out our previous post for some info and stay tuned!

CKCB: On the Road; In the Elements

Bardstown; Paris; Lexington: three cities in two weeks.

CKCB Dramatic B&W BardstownYes, the Central Kentucky Concert Band is hitting the road and embarking on our Summer Concert Series where we bring the music to you.  We’re bringing some jazz, show tunes, some marches (what would summer be without marches?) and just some  generally fun and exhilarating tunes to the musical table.

CKCB Dramatic B&W ParisThanks to our sponsors, the Stephen Foster Music Club, the Bardstown Parks and Recreation Department, Garden Club of Kentucky, and the Friends of the Arboretum, you can enjoy these concerts free of charge. Bring your spouse, the kids, your grandma, uncle,  and friends, and enjoy the show. Just add something to nosh, and something to keep you off the lawn, unless you like sitting on the lawn, and you’re good to go.

CKCB Dramatic B&W LexingtonThe music will be fun, and the locations will be beautiful.

Check out our tour schedule:

Crafting the Score.

CKCB Group Shot 2018 wUKFBQ
The Central Kentucky Concert Band with the UK Faculty Brass Quintet  performing Bernstein in 2018 at the Lexington Opera House

In December, among other selections, we featured Shostakovich’s  Finale to his Symphony No. 5, and Goedicke’s Concert Etude featuring the band’s very own principal trumpet player T.J. Thomas as soloist. In March, we marched with Trauermusik by Wagner,  March to the Scaffold by Berlioz, The March from “1941” by John Williams, and the finale to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. May came, and with that, the band paid tribute to one of the greatest American composers to date: Leonard Bernstein. The band transferred operations to the Lexington Opera House and performed The Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story,” Divertimento (written for the Boston Symphony Orchestra on its 100th anniversary by Bernstein), and Suite from “Mass” that featured the phenomenal University of Kentucky Faculty Brass Quintet as special guest performers.

UK Faculty Brass Quintet
The UK Faculty Brass Quintet with CKCB Conductor Ben Hawkins at the Lexington Opera House

The band rehearsed for these concerts practically every Thursday from early September to the day of the concert. Hours upon hours. Members practiced at home for hours honing transitions, key changes, intervals, and other technical musical elements in the selections placed there by the composers and the arrangers.

Our conductor and assistant conductor put together programs, led rehearsals and made massive notations in the scores to help the band craft a holistic musical experience rather than just repeating a sequence of tones. The musicians in the band worked very hard to perfect this expression, too.

CKCB poster December 2017Band members moved chairs, stands, and percussion equipment. Family members took care of family business while band members rehearsed. Family members also provided financial and emotional support. Crews at the band’s venues (Transylvania University and the Lexington Opera House) configured stages, provided lighting, sound, and assisted with the heaps of paperwork that goes into putting a performance together. During all of this, a special committee was formed and, with the band’s input, rewrote the band’s bylaws and organizational structure to ensure the band’s continued vitality and continuity for the next several decades.

Books were balanced; attendance taken; music was purchased, borrowed, begged for, collated, distributed, and refiled and returned; performances were negotiated, documents signed, meetings led; equipment managed; sponsors were secured; websites and social media were administered; original poster art was graciously provided, minutes taken and communications made.

2018 March 4th posterWe made new band friends, and said goodbye to longtime band friends, as well as band friends who we didn’t get to know as much as we would like before circumstances separated us.

Throughout all these labors, what unites us and makes us a family is this: a love for hearing, making, and sharing music. That’s really it.

Through the generosity of our sponsors, band members, family members, friends, and associates, we are able to offer the audience the gift of music.  It’s easy to overlook the value of this gift, as one cannot take it home in a bucket, or park it in a garage, or hang it over a fireplace. But the power for change–such as emotional, political (just ask Shostakovich, whose very life depended upon pleasing Stalin through his compositions), and cognitive (research is providing many insights into the interaction of performing music on developing and developed brains) afforded by music is undeniable.

Bernstein PosterOn behalf of the band, I thank each of you for your contribution to the band’s mission, whether you are a valued audience member, band member, family member, sponsor, venue affiliate, or have in any way forwarded our band’s mission. Playing Bernstein’s West Side Story this last concert has given us an insight into the possibilities of story-telling through the emotional, social, and perhaps innate sensibilities we possess of making music. Each of you has written a note in the score that tells the story of our band. We have been composing this score for over 40 years, and we do not yet see the double bar line.

But wait…there’s more. Although we’re finished with our “regular season,” we have three more concerts this summer scheduled so far: Friday, June 29, 7 PM, Community Park, Bardstown, KY; Sunday, July 1, 7 PM, Wallis House, Garden Club of Kentucky, 616 Pleasant Street Paris, KY; and Saturday, July 7, 7 PM, University of Kentucky Arboretum, Lexington, KY. Check back here and on our Facebook page for additions or changes.